United Natural Foods, Inc. Announces Executive Team Transition Plan

September 15, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sep. 15, 2015-- United Natural Foods, Inc. (Nasdaq: UNFI) (the “Company”) today announced an executive team transition plan. Michael (“Mike”) Zechmeister has been appointed Senior Vice President, effective today, and he will succeed Mark Shamber as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, effective mid-October, 2015. Mr. Shamber will assist with the executive team transition and continue to assist the Company with business strategy and development through December 31, 2015.

“Mark has played an integral role in our growth and development over the last nine years and, on behalf of our board and management team, I want to thank him for his contributions,” said Steve Spinner, the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Over the next several weeks Mark will work closely with Mike through this transition. We are excited to have Mike on board as a seasoned leader in finance with significant experience successfully managing and growing multi-billion-dollar businesses as we further adapt to meet the ever-changing needs of customers in an expanding and evolving marketplace.”

Mr. Zechmeister joins the Company from General Mills, Inc. (NYSE: GIS) with over 25 years of corporate finance, audit, treasury, operations and merger and acquisition experience. Over his tenure with General Mills, Inc., he served in a variety of senior finance roles, including most recently as Vice President, Finance, Yoplait USA. In addition, Mr. Zechmeister was Vice President and Treasurer from 2010 to 2012, Vice President, Finance, US Retail Sales, from 2007 to 2010 and Vice President, Finance, Pillsbury Division, from 2005 to 2007.

“I have enjoyed working with Steve and the entire UNFI team over the last twelve plus years,” commented Mr. Shamber. “I believe UNFI has a tremendously talented organization with a strong foundation for future growth. Over the next month, I look forward to supporting Mike to ensure a smooth transition, and then shifting my focus to continued corporate development activity.”

About United Natural Foods

United Natural Foods, Inc. (http://www.unfi.com) carries and distributes more than 80,000 products to more than 40,000 customer locations throughout the United States and Canada. The Company serves a wide variety of retail formats, including conventional supermarket chains, natural product superstores, independent retail operators and the food service channel. United Natural Foods, Inc. was ranked by Forbes Magazine in 2014 as one of “America’s Best Managed Companies,” ranked by Fortune in 2012 as one of its “Most Admired American Companies,” and chosen by Food Logistics Magazine as one of its 2013 Top 20 Green Providers.

For more information on United Natural Foods, Inc., visit the Company’s website at www.unfi.com.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding the Company’s business that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” that involve risks and uncertainties and are based on current expectations and management estimates; actual results may differ materially. The risks and uncertainties which could impact these statements are described in the Company’s filings under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including its annual report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on October 1, 2014 (as amended on March 12, 2015), its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on December 10, 2014 (as amended on March 12, 2015), March 12, 2015 and June 11, 2015 and other filings the Company makes with the SEC, and include, but are not limited to, the Company’s dependence on principal customers; the Company’s sensitivity to general economic conditions, including the current economic environment; changes in disposable income levels and consumer spending trends; the Company’s ability to reduce its expenses in amounts sufficient to offset its increased focus on sales to conventional supermarkets and the shift in the Company’s product mix as a result of its acquisition of Tony’s Fine Foods (“Tony’s”) and the resulting lower gross margins on those sales; the Company’s reliance on the continued growth in sales of natural and organic foods and non-food products in comparison to conventional products; the Company’s ability to timely and successfully deploy its warehouse management system throughout its distribution centers and its transportation management system across the Company; volatility in fuel cost; the Company’s ability to successfully consummate its expense reduction efforts in connection with the previously announced termination of a contractual customer relationship within the expected timeframe and cost estimates currently contemplated; the Company’s sensitivity to inflationary and deflationary pressures; the relatively low margins and economic sensitivity of the Company’s business; the potential for disruptions in the Company’s supply chain by circumstances beyond its control; the risk of interruption of supplies due to lack of long-term contracts, severe weather, work stoppages or otherwise; consumer demand for natural and organic products outpacing suppliers’ ability to produce those products; union-organizing activities that could cause labor relations difficulties and increased costs; the ability to identify and successfully complete acquisitions of other natural, organic and specialty food and non-food products distributors; management’s allocation of capital and the timing of capital expenditures; and the Company’s ability to successfully deploy its operational initiatives to achieve synergies from the acquisition of Tony’s. Any forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and, as such, speak only as of the date made. The Company is not undertaking to update any information in the foregoing reports until the effective date of its future reports required by applicable laws. Any projections of future results of operations are based on a number of assumptions, many of which are outside the Company’s control and should not be construed in any manner as a guarantee that such results will in fact occur. These projections are subject to change and could differ materially from final reported results. The Company may from time to time update these publicly announced projections, but it is not obligated to do so.

Source: United Natural Foods, Inc.

United Natural Foods, Inc.
Mark Shamber, 401-528-8634
Chief Financial Officer
Katie Turner, 646-277-1228
General Information